Olympic boxer Nicola Adams to make Strictly history by having same-sex dance partner

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 Nicola Adams
(Image credit: BBC)

'It’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change,' says the new Strictly contestant

Former boxer Nicola Adams is to make Strictly Come Dancing history by being the first star to be part of a same-sex dance pairing.

The double Olympic gold medallist spoke of her excitement of setting a TV landmark and being “part of the movement for change” as she was confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2020. Last night Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin, The Wanted’s Max George and ex-NFl player Jason Bell were the first names announced for the new series.

“I’m really excited to be joining this year’s incredible line-up for Strictly Come Dancing,” says Nicola. “I’m a huge fan of the show and am thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts. People might know me from work in the ring, but I'll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance-floor too.

"I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

Ranvir Singh Strictly Come Dancing

Good Morning Britain's Ranvir Singh has also been announced as a contestant on this year's Strictly

There’s been weeks of speculation over who would be in the show’s first same-sex couple, with Phillip Schofield firmly denying rumours back in August that he was taking part.

In its last series Dancing on Ice made UK TV history with a same-sex pairing – Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps and professional skater Matt Evers.

Nicola won gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Meanwhile, ITV newsreader Ranvir Singh and radio DJ and presenter and Clara Amfo have also been revealed as contestants today.

Ranvir said: “The initial feeling of being confirmed for Strictly is one of complete terror – feels like embarking on a rollercoaster, where you really want to do it but you are equally scared. Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!”

Clara said: “As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can’t wait to fully embrace, see you on the dancefloor!”

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC1 this autumn.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

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